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Google Reacts to Facebook and Bing

Google Real Time Search Adds Power to Social Media

Not a company to take any new development lying down, Google has quickly responded to the Bing and Facebook initiative to make search more social. Instead of tailoring the results to what your individual networks are sharing, Google is taking more of a global approach and using the social sharing from their Real Time data.

Google search is pulling social media data into their main results page in three unique areas:

  1. Shared news items: The main search page shows a module of news for your search query, and lists how popular various related news articles are based on the number of times they have been shared in social venues. Clicking on the “Shared by X” takes you to the Real Time results page showing who shared the articles and when.

    Shared news items in Google Search

    Shared news items in Google Search

  2. Popular topics/keywords: The most popular Google trending topics allow you to explore the keywords further across multiple social media channels including Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and more. Clicking “X recent updates” takes you to the Real Times results page showing who is discussing the topic and the top links related to the topic.

    Popular topics and keywords in Google Search

    Popular topics and keywords in Google Search

  3. Specific Real Time results: Individual real time results are being integrated into the main search results page for popular trending topics. This gives a unique opportunity to any user, regardless of their SEO knowledge, to have immediate access to page one of Google SERPs. The data for this module is pulled directly from the Real Time results.

    Google Real Time embedded in main search

    Google Real Time embedded in main search

By pulling social media content from many major platforms, Google is successfully leveraging hot topics from around the web and across many different demographics. What remains to be seen is whether all of these features are just being tested or if Google will keep them for the long run – as of 10/22/10 some of the features have been turning on and off intermittently.

Regardless of how Google finally ends up integrating these, one thing is quite clear: regular social media updates about with popular events and trending topics is an effective way of getting your brand and ideas on the front page of Google and in front of the eyes of millions of potential viewers. Since the Real Time results get updated as they happen, timing is everything. If your core consumers are most active online from 4:00-7:30 PM, what are you doing during that time to connect with them?

Contributed by Mike Supple, Social Media Manager, Milestone Internet Marketing, Inc

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